Europa League Preview: Osmalispor - Olympiacos

-- Europa League Preview: Osmalispor - Olympiacos --
 

UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE - ROUND OF 32 (LEG 2)

Osmanlispor 11:00 AM Olympiacos
(0 - 0)
Agg.

Georgios Tsitsonis from AGONAsport.com brings you a full preview for Olympiacos' second leg matchup against Osmanlispor in the UEFA Europa League Round of 32.

 

OVERVIEW
 

Olympiacos head to Turkey for the 2nd leg of their Round of 32 Europa League tie with Osmanlispor on Thursday. The 0-0 result from the first game in Piraeus leaves qualification wide open and both sides will fancy their chances of progression to the last 16. 

For the visitors the trip to Ankara comes on the back of a disappointing derby match this past weekend against AEK. Olympiacos were subpar throughout in that game and lost for the first time in 15 matches in all competitions. Now, facing their biggest test of the season, Paulo Bento’s team need to pull out a big performance in order to progress in the competition.

It remains to be seen what effect the absence of Brown Ideye will have on the Erythrolefki. The team’s main striker misses out on the return leg as he seems on the verge of leaving the club with a move to China near completion. 

Osmanlispor are in confident mood ahead of Thursday’s match. Mustafa Resit Akcay’s team not only have home field advantage for the decisive second match, but they are coming off a 5-1 away win at Adanaspor in the Turkish Super Lig this weekend. ‘The Ottomans’ will surely come out of their shell as opposed to last week’s performance in the 1st leg where they were unable to manage a shot on target.


TEAM NEWS
 

Osmanispor: Akcay is expected to keep faith with most of the side that won at Adanaspor over the weekend. There will more than likely be a few changes however, with Dzon Delarge, Musa Cagiran, and Luiz Carlos all with a chance to come back into the starting eleven. Injury will deprive the team of Aminu Umar and Tugay Kacar who are both unable to recover in time. .

Olympiacos: With Ideye out of the team, one of Bento’s biggest decision concerns the lone attacking role. Will the Portuguese boss opt for the experience of Oscar Cardozo, despite his recent poor form? Or will the promising Karim Ansarifard be given a chance? Other questions abound as far as the starting eleven. While most places are set, there are questions in the defensive midfield as well in the wide areas. Panagiotis Retsos could be installed as the midfield anchor, unless Bento decides that Alaixys Romao will start there. Will Tarik Elyounoussi be given the nod to begin on the flanks after his disappointing display against AEK? Which would mean Bento may put the responsibility on the young shoulders of Thanasis Androutsos. One thing is for certain, some of the biggest names at the club will miss out. The likes of Esteban Cambiasso and Marko Marin have been left out of the squad, while Tsori Dominguez is not even on the Europa League squad list. 

Bruno Viana will miss out due to suspension after his red card in the 1st leg, while Stefano Kapino and Juan Carlos Paredes are ruled out through injury.


POTENTIAL LINE-UPS
 

Osmanlispor: Karcemarskas, Pinto, Prochazka, Vrsajevic, Guven, Cagiran, Curusku, Ndiaye, Delarge, Regattin, Maher

Olympiacos: Leali, Figueiras, Da Costa, Botia, Cissokho, Retsos, Martins, Fortounis, Seba, Androutsos, Ansarifard


RECENT FORM
 

Osmanlispor: WDLLD

  • 2/19/17 Adanaspor-Osmanlispor 1-5 (Turkish Super Lig)
  • 2/16/17 Olympiacos-Osmanlispor 0-0 (Europa League Round of 16)
  • 2/11/17 Osmanlispor-Trabzonspor 0-1 (Turkish Super Lig)
  • 2/5/17 Kasimpasa-Osmanlispor 1-0 (Turkish Super Lig) 
  • 1/29/17 Genclerbirligi-Osmanlispor 1-1 (Turkish Super Lig)

Olympiacos: LDWDW

  • 2/19/17 AEK-Olympiacos 1-0 (Greek SuperLeague)
  • 2/16/17 Olympiacos-Osmanlispor 0-0 (Europa League Round of 16)
  • 2/11/17 Olympiacos-Larisa 2-0 (Greek Super League)
  • 2/8/17 Olympiacos-Atromitos 0-0 (Greek Cup Quarterfinal 1st Leg)
  • 2/5/17 Olympiacos-Iraklis 3-0 (Greek Super League)

SCENARIOS
 

Either team will advance with a win while a non goalless draw will see Olympiacos through on away goals. If the 90 minutes of normal regulation end goalless then the match will head to extra time. 


PREDICTIONS
 

Olympiacos’ squad for this match includes 7 products of the club’s academy system. That is surely a good sign, but it raises the question if this youth movement can produce immediate results in Europe. With the potential for three of those players to be included from the start, it remains to be seen whether the pressure will see them thrive or struggle. There are other issues concerning the team as well. The fluidity and creativity in attack have been absent for some time, so that must be sorted out on Thursday evening in a difficult stadium.

This has all the makings of a close affair, but one wonders whether Bento’s propensity to chop and change so frequently will leave Olympiacos lacking in continuity. If Olympiacos play to their potential, then they should be able to see off Osmanlispor with perhaps a score draw.  In the end, the Turks could end up just shading it by making their home advantage count.


TV LISTINGS
 

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by: Giorgos Tsitsonis. Contact the writer at tsitsonisg.agonasport@gmail.com
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